Girish Mahajan

Microsoft Cluster Server

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Developer(s)  Microsoft
License  Same as Windows Server
Type  Utility software
Operating system  Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2003 R2 Windows Server 2003 Windows 2000 Windows NT 4.0

Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) is a computer program that allows server computers to work together as a computer cluster, to provide failover and increased availability of applications, or parallel calculating power in case of high-performance computing (HPC) clusters (as in supercomputing).

Microsoft has three technologies for clustering: Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS, a HA clustering service), Component Load Balancing (CLB) (part of Application Center 2000), and Network Load Balancing Services (NLB). In Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 the MSCS service has been renamed to Windows Server Failover Clustering and the Component Load Balancing (CLB) feature has been deprecated.

Prior to Windows 2008, clustering required (per Microsoft KBs) that all nodes in the clusters to be as identical as possible from hardware, drivers, firmware, all the way to software. After windows 2008 however, Microsoft modified the requirements to state that only the operating system needs to be of the same level (such as patch level).

Background

Cluster Server was codenamed "Wolfpack" during its development. Windows NT Server 4.0, Enterprise Edition was the first version of Windows to include the MSCS software. The software has since been updated with each new server release. The cluster software evaluates the resources of servers in the cluster and chooses which are used based on criteria set in the administration module. In June 2006, Microsoft released Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, the first high-performance computing (HPC) cluster technology offering from Microsoft.

References

Microsoft Cluster Server Wikipedia


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